The best of Edmonton this April

By Joel Dryden

Though there’s plenty on the docket this month in Edmonton, from the Bonfire Festival to the Edmonton Poetry Festival, I know plenty of Edmontonians will have their sights set on the Oilers’ long-awaited playoff run. But we’ll get to that later – here’s the best of Edmonton in April. [Image credit: istockphoto.com/Aksonov]

The best of Edmonton this April

Favourite spots to eat and drink this month

We hope you chowed down during Downtown Dining Week, but any occasion is a good one to visit one of Edmonton’s premier restaurants.

Since opening in Beaumont last year, Chartier has quickly developed into a local fixture. The French restaurant’s focus on the community started before it served its first meal – Chartier’s owners, Darren and Sylvia Cheverie, raised a whopping $107,975 on Kickstarter prior to the restaurant’s opening. As the pair says, “we don’t want to be a restaurant IN the community, we want to be a restaurant FOR the community.” It doesn’t hurt that the food is delicious, either.

The third restaurant by chef Daniel Costa (of Corso 32 and Bar Bricco) is Uccellino, which opened its doors last year. A modern trattoria, Uccellino serves up simple yet delicious Italian dishes meant to deliver a sensation of escapism – as manager and co-owner Allen Anderl puts it, “People come into our [restaurants] and often say, ‘We’re not in Edmonton anymore.’”

Blink and you’ll miss the charming Bar Clementine, located on Jasper Avenue. With only 36 seats, demand can often outstrip supply, but delicious cocktails and a number of delectable small plates makes the occasional line-up worth it.

Dates to mark on the calendar

April 9 – that’s the date of the final regular season game in the NHL and the day the Edmonton Oilers’ decade-long playoff drought comes to an end. Led by the phenomenal Connor McDavid, the Oilers will be a must-watch playoff squad – though that goes without saying for most Edmontonians.

Though playoffs are a perfect christening for the newly opened Rogers Place, ticket prices for Oilers playoff home games are expected to be astronomical – reflective of the extremely high demand of Oilers diehards. If you can’t score tickets to see McDavid and company play live, Edmonton sports bars – such as 1st Rnd or Legends Sports Bar – will likely be packed floor to rafters with boisterous sports fans, so make your reservations early.

Board game cafés such as The Hexagon and Table Top Café offer well-travelled Settlers of Catan the chance to employ a little strategy over coffee. Those looking to take it to the next level should journey to Edmonton’s Board Game Convention, scheduled April 8 and 9 at the Alberta Avenue Community League Hall. From trivia games to party games, the festival promises more variety than just Monopoly and Pictionary.

Celebrate poetry in all its forms at the Edmonton Poetry Festival, scheduled April 16 to 23. Whether you attend as an audience member or a participant (including a chance to show off your slam poetry skills) the festival is surely among the best of its kind in Canada.

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Discover more things to do in Edmonton:

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For the hockey disparager

If you’re not a hockey fan, playoff season is surely not your favourite time of year. Thankfully, the warm weather will allow you to leave your compatriots in front of the television or in the bar while you explore the city.

Edmonton is beautiful this time of year, so make a note to find a good vantage point with our list of YEG’s best panoramic views. Check out some of Edmonton’s best street art or get ready for summer by practicing your backstroke at one of Edmonton’s top pools. There’s plenty to do while the sports fan in your life becomes an emotional wreck.

From the Poetry Festival to a long-awaited playoff run, April promises to offer exciting options for every Edmontonian. Get out and enjoy the weather and go Oilers!

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